City Times editors respond to Zenger’s

Editorial Board
City Times

It has come to the attention of the City Times editorial board that an article has been published in Zenger’s Newsmagazine titled “Forty Years Later, Gay Lib Pioneer Still Struggles; Zenger’s Associate Editor Challenges Homophobia at City College.”

The article, written by Leo Laurence, claims that “San Diego City College is launching an investigation into alleged homophobia at the campus newspaper, City Times.”

The online version of the article is accompanied by a photo snapped by Laurence during an open class staff meeting. The photo is captioned, “A rare look inside a staff meeting of the City Times newspaper at City College, currently under investigation for alleged homophobia.”

The editorial board for City Times wants to set the record straight and confirm that at the time Laurence’s article was published in Zenger’s, no such investigation had been launched against City Times publication.

According to the Board of Trustees administration office and City College officials, however, Laurence informed the board in his address before them on March 12 that he has since filed a formal complaint with the district.

The serious implications made by Laurence have shocked and shaken the editorial staff of City Times. The inaccuracies portrayed in the publication have raised concern and confusion among the editorial staff.

The claims Laurence made against City Times, whether as whole or aimed at certain individuals, were all one-sided and not supported by any quotes or factual evidence for his claims.

Laurence neither contacted nor questioned any City Times staff members for his article, which was also published in an online news Web log, and distributed throughout San Diego in areas such as Hillcrest and Kensington, and even on City College campus.

In his article, Laurence claims that the City Times news editor “was taking me off the FAGS beat and would cover the organization herself, but no article about them has appeared in the City Times since then.”

In the editorial board’s assessment, Laurence’s claims are inaccurate.

Since last fall, City Times has been following a controversy on campus regarding the Fellowship of Associated Gay Students and Straight Allies’ FAGS acronym.

Laurence was never assigned the “FAGS beat.” The issue was, in fact, covered by the City Times news editor in the fall, and continues to be covered this semester by the same editor.

City Times has published multiple articles and staff opinions on the campus issues involving the group since the beginning of the fall 2008 semester.

Laurence, in fact, was aware of the coverage on the campus issues involving the FAGS organization. He personally wrote an e-mail to City Times in praise of the coverage in September 2008, stating “professional compliments on your coverage of the ‘FAGS’ story: a front-page story, an editorial and a Man-on-the-Street type feature. Well done, and balanced with quotes.”

As a free-press publication on campus, it is City Times’ duty to remain objective in reporting campus news.

That being said, it is the right of any campus student to challenge any published content in City Times, whether it be by contacting the City Times office or writing a letter to the editor.

City Times allows letters to the editor, where one can raise any question or concerns to any of the editors or staff writers of the publication.

Also, unlike what the photo caption suggests, there is nothing rare about City Times’ staff meetings as they are held during class time and students enrolled in Journalism 210 are present.

(Editorials represent the opinions of the City Times Editorial Board and not necessarily the opinions of the entire staff)

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City Times editors respond to Zenger’s